The August 29 anniversary of Katrina is nearly here and media small and large are offering overviews of all kinds, often eyeing New Orleans from a wide lens. At SMITH we’ll be doing what we always do: unearthing and offering the little guy perspective. One way of looking at New Orleans comes via artist and writer Josh Neufeld (author of the genius The Vagabonds, contributor to American Splendor and member of online comix collective ACT-I-VATE) whose book Katrina Came Calling, details his time as a Red Cross volunteer in hurricane-ravaged Mississippi.
Josh self-published this book himself (and sells it for $7 from the link above) and it’s a great, indie, timely, smart, and personal perspective from the Big Easy. He writes:
In October 2005, shortly after Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast, I served a three-week stint as a Red Cross volunteer in Biloxi/Gulfport, Mississippi. Taken from my online journal and illustrated with photographs, Katrina Came Calling is an intimate look at my reaction to the hurricane; signing up for Red Cross training; getting deployed; the conditions in the Gulf; working with the survivors; a visit to New Orleans; Port-a-Potties; my co-workers; issues of race, religion, and regional background; returning home; and much more. Being a public forum, my blog was read and commented on by people from all over the spectrum: not only by my friends, associates, and regular readers, but by other Red Crossers past and present, and by Biloxi-area survivors and former residents. Many of those comments (and my responses to them) are included in Katrina Came Calling, a unique marriage of print and the ongoing conversation of the Internet.